Campaigning ends in 5 Assembly segments going to polls on Sunday

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Kupwara, Nov 28 (UNI) Encouraged by the heavy voter turnout in the first two of the seven-phase elections in Jammu and Kashmir, political parties and independent candidates organised hundreds of meetings to woo the electorate in five Assembly segments, spread over this frontier district, once a hub of militants.

The campaigning, which ended this evening, was by and large peaceful with no report of any major untoward incident, officials said.

Initially, the big election rallies were missing and leaders of different political parties and Independent candidates preferred door-to-door canvassing, instead of going for public meetings, fearing trouble from people opposing elections.

The constituencies going to polls included Karnah, Kupwara, Lolab, Handwara and Langate.

However, during the last one week, all the five constituencies witnessed massive political activities, with top leaders of different political parties, including National Conference(NC) patron Farooq Abdullah, his son and party president Omar Abdullah, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, his daughter and party president Mehbooba Mufti, Congress president and Union Minister Saifuddin Soz addressing election rallies.

The political parties organised poll rallies and big meetings in the far-flung and remote areas, making promises to work for their betterment, if voted to Legislative Assembly.

Dr Abdullah and Mr Omar addressing election meetings said time has come when India and Pakistan work for lasting peace in the region.

Dr Abdullah has urged both the neighbouring countries to take concrete measures so as to advance the dialogue process for lasting peace in the sub-continent He said that the time has come when both India and Pakistan should take concrete measures so as to strengthen the ties between the two nations.

Peace in the subcontinent, he said, is not possible unless and until the relations between India and Pakistan are strengthened.

He said that trade between the two countries should also flourish so as to give fillip to the economy of the country and the state.

Mr Omar promised providing jobs to 40,000 unemployed youths in the state, if voted to power. He also announced subsidy on electricity and gas cyclinder.

NC president Omar Abdullah, in one of his election meetings, promised to release all the separatist leaders within a week, if voted to power in the state.

He also said his party will make all out efforts to facilitate the safe return of Kashmiri youths in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) after taking up the issue with New Delhi.

Mr Omar said people will take part in elections in large number, as they (people) have now realised that the Assembly elections and Kashmir issues are two different things.

However, Mr Sayeed, stressing the need for speeding up the process to address the Kashmir issue, said participation of people in the ongoing polls should not be misconstrued as the problem having disappeared without addressing it.

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